L'Anse Aux Meadows, a village on the northern shore of Newfoundland, is a UNESCO designated world heritage site.

This cold, coastal grassland area was used by Viking explorers as early as 1000CE. It was a naval base and winter camp. The bay adjacent to the camp becomes completely drained when the tide is out, making the location ideal for servicing ships and loading cargo. The ruins of the settlement include grass houses, workshops, and a forge.

The remains of butternuts and wild grapes have been uncovered, indicating that the explorers made it further inland, possibly as far as New Brunwsick (neither of those foods may be found in Newfoundland). The Vikings exported lumber and grapes back to Greenland, but skirmishes with the natives, in the end, forced the Vikings to stop exploring, and evidence suggests that L'Anse Aux Meadows did not stay inhabited for long after that.

The site is overgrown now, but has been restored by the Government of Canada during the 1970s to present, and is beautiful to see. On a cloudy and windy day you could almost see Viking ships landing there. Indeed, in 1991, a replica ship did stop during its voyage from Greenland to Washington, DC.

  • old brochures
  • http://parkscanada.pch.gc.ca/parks/newfoundland/anse_meadows/anse_meadows_e.htm